With all the the controversy in the news over the last few weeks regarding the DEA’s operation involving Hezbollah and global money laundering in Project Cassandra, I wanted to clarify my reasons for speaking out and offer a few suggestions. I have very serious concerns about the emerging and complex threats to our country and hope we can have some productive discussions to develop better ways ahead. I would love to see our dedicated men and women in law enforcement and the intelligence community come together and use all tools of national power to crush Hezbollah and other sophisticated transnational organized crime groups.
We shouldn’t waste too much time worrying about what happened good or bad in the past on this major operation, but rather review collectively how things can be done more effectively in the future. There is an old saying that, “opportunities come and go”. Well, even though in my view we lost a golden opportunity, I know our work force is resilient and can get right back on track with leadership and direction. It makes no sense to dwell on the past and play the blame game, but rather fix the issues and move forward to protect the citizens of this great county.
Let’s stop the political ping pong game and correct what’s wrong. Since we know criminal groups are using the state of the art technology, moving at lightening speed while our investigators and assets are getting stuck in the mud of politics and bureaucracy. Terrorists will continue to tap into the incredible amounts of money generated from drug trafficking and many other criminal activities, so it’s imperative that our hard working personnel on the terror and criminal sides must come together.
911 was 16 years ago and the information sharing WALLS are still up. Despite the comprehensive 911 Commission Report and several Inspector General reviews, many USG personnel are still looking at terrorists in a silo. They are ruthless criminals and the only way to decimate them is put all the expertise throughout many agencies together in a task force setting.
The best cases in the history of law enforcement were all made when professionals in this awesome country collaborated and focused on the same goals. Every agency can bring something special and unique to the fight. A perfect example is what we saw in Project Cassandra with the unbelievable capabilities the U.S. Treasury, the US Attorneys Office in the SDNY and CBP brought to the table. Let’s put the egos aside and bring together a real powerful UNITY OF EFFORT.
Since most of the relevant agencies are already represented at the Special Operations Division and the entity follows the rule of law under the guidance of the Department of Justice, it would be a great place to bring people together the nations best and brightest to crush the sophisticated and growing threats. There must be a sense of urgency.